Chicago's two major terminal roads, the Belt Railway of Chicago and the Indiana Harbor Belt are featured prominently at many of the junctions covered on this website. The same holds for the former Elgin, Joliet & Eastern, now owned by Canadian National. For more information about them, try the links below. Two other important freight roads are listed as well: South Shore Freight, operated by Anacostia & Pacific Corp., and Chicago Rail Link, an Omnitrax company. Omnitrax also owns Manufacturers Junction, an area shortline.
Click here for a current locomotive roster of the Indiana Harbor Belt.
Click here for a current locomotive roster of the Belt Railway.
For more information on Chicago area railroads and rapid transit, see the following websites. The first contains information on small terminal and switching lines in the area. You might want to consider subscribing to their newsletter. The second listing is Bill Vandervoort's well-known site containing valuable information on all aspects of Chicago railroading.
For track diagrams and valuable historical information about many Chicago area junctions, see Mark Bej's
Pennsylvania Railroad Interlocking Diagrams.
Retired tower operator Dave Haynes has track diagrams and photos from the 1950s and 1960s of many northwest Indiana interlockings plus Dolton Junction. Go to
Dave's Page of Towers and scroll down.
A massive plan for improving the Chicago rail network is underway. As of March, 2010, the plan--known as CREATE, or Chicago Regional Environmental And Transportation Efficiency--has received about a third of the total funding needed, and several projects are underway or have been completed. Click here to access the CREATE website.
Some of the locations covered on this site can be reached by commuter train or rapid transit from downtown Chicago. Specific information is provided on their webpages. The local commuter rail authority is Metra, an agency of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA). The rapid transit system--also an RTA agency--is the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). For routes, downtown departure stations, schedules and maps, see their websites. The South Shore Line passenger operation is a service of the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD).
PENTREX: Today's Chicago Railroads;
Classic Chicago Railroading; Ultimate Chicago
GREEN FROG: Chicago Odyssey, Vols. 1 and 2; South Shore Line.
PLETS EXPRESS: Trains of the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern.
MACHINES OF IRON: Indiana Harbor Belt and Belt Railway of Chicago.
See also John Szwajkart's site: Szwajkart Books and DVDs
For links to thousands of railroad-related sites, see:
Webville & Hypertext Railroad
The Railfan Network
For sites listing nationwide rail locations, see:
Frograil Rail Locations
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